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A job well done on fishing opener

On behalf of Explore Minnesota Tourism, I would like to express my gratitude to the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, Grand View Lodge, the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce and the city of Nisswa for all their efforts in hosting the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener. This partnership effort provided the necessary leadership to host this major event in Nisswa and the Brainerd lakes area. This is the first time two chambers of commerce worked together on this annual event. The partnership with the chambers and Grand View Lodge proved what can be accomplished when organizations come together for a common goal.

There is no doubt the event was a huge success. Feedback and stories written by the media have all been very positive for the Brainerd lakes area. Many even said it was the best opener ever! With 400 volunteers spreading their smiles and warmth, how could it not be?

Even though the sun didn’t shine much on Friday, your Brainerd lakes community did. From the great activities with Brainerd International Raceway, Mills Fleet Farm Shooting and Archery Range, dining tours, golfing and exploring the Cuyuna Recreation Area, guests got a great glimpse of all the Brainerd lakes area has to offer. The community picnic in Nisswa — with all the fun family activities, great music topped off by the Gear Daddies performance, delicious food and fireworks — showed the guests and local participants the wonderful hometown hospitality that your area offers every day.

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful and there were many smiles. Although the fishing was not as “hot” as it can be, Gull Lake provided some great action and there were some really nice fish caught and released. Lt. Governor Prettner Solon was pleased to reel in a 23-inch walleye. Grand View Lodge hosted an outstanding shore lunch and ended the evening with a wonderful dinner, great entertainment by Miss Minnesota (Rebecca Yeh, a Nisswa native), and recognition for those sponsors who are so important to the communities that host this event. It was evident that all of your hard work paid off. The guests took notice of the high spirits of your volunteers and the compliments are still coming in.

Very special thanks to planning committee leaders Steve Mau (Brainerd General Rental) and Frank Soukup (Grand View Lodge), co-chairs of the event and planning committee. They did a fantastic job leading the 20-plus people who served on the planning team, not to mention the 400-plus volunteers who donated their time to staff the event.

Congratulations to all of you for showcasing how great the Brainerd lakes area, and the state as a whole, is to visit and explore. Your hospitality will be remembered by all who attended for many years to come.

Edman is director of Explore Minnesota Tourism